Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
The right view of suffering is that of an expiation, not only for our own sin, but for the world's sin too. It is an expiation and a redemption, whereby the effects of sin are wiped away, and the creation is again to become a kingdom of God. All suffering centers in the supreme tragedy of Calvary, and when borne in a Christian spirit may be called a continuation of that divine sacrifice whereby the world is cleansed of its stain.
Wherefore as regards those who suffer: if they rebel against their lot, they are as those who deny their corporate responsibility and shirk their burden; they are traitors not only to the divine Redeemer, but to all suffering humanity.
But if they accept the chalice of pain as Christ accepted it, they become truly compeers with Christ in the new kingdom of God, "sitting at His right hand and at His left," according to their merit. These are truly the co-workers of Our Saviour in the regeneration of the world. The innocent babe that dies in agony gains something of the martyr's glory; its suffering is the payment of a debt not its own, and yet its own because it is one of mankind; and it becomes more closely allied to Christ because of its suffering.
The man or woman consciously accepting the cross, with perhaps its nameless horrors, becomes thereby a leader among men, because bearing willingly the burden of men; and according to the simplicity of their acceptance is the degree of their eternal glory.
No wonder then that so many Christians have regarded it as a privilege to suffer, and have envied those who suffered, not from morbid sentiment, but from a healthy recognition of Christian principles. "These are they who have washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb. Their youth is renewed like that of the eagle, as the lily shall they flourish in the city of the Lord."
-Father Cuthbert, O.S.F.C., De Torrente.
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See